Video: Cup finalists Common now target league title

Having clinched a cup final place on Wednesday night, Little Common Football Club now has the chance to be crowned league champions.

Sunday, 15th April 2018, 3:00 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 12:29 am
Little Common midfielder Liam Ward blocks the path of Langney Wanderers forward Wayne Wilkinson in last night's semi-final. Picture by Simon Newstead

A win at home to Lingfield this coming Saturday would see the Commoners seal the Macron Store Southern Combination League Division One title with two games to spare. Kick-off at The Oval is 3pm.

Speaking after the midweek Division One Challenge Cup semi-final victory over Langney Wanderers (for a report on that game click here), Common player-manager Russell Eldridge said: “After last week’s game at Seaford (which Common won 1-0), we’ve edged our way closer and we’re in a better position than we were when we started last week’s game.

“A lot of attention will be placed on people saying ‘we can do this, we can do that’, but I’m the same as I have been from day one this year.

Little Common midfielder Liam Ward blocks the path of Langney Wanderers forward Wayne Wilkinson in last night's semi-final. Picture by Simon Newstead

“We’ll pay respect to them (Lingfield), as we did Langney tonight and Seaford at the weekend. We’ll have a plan and a way we want to play, and hopefully we can come away with the three points. If not, we’ll go again in the next game.”

Common are seven points clear of second-placed Langney, with both teams having three matches left. So one Common victory - or a draw when they go to Langney next weekend - will secure top spot.

The Commoners have won 27 of their 31 league fixtures so far, including all of their last nine, and have scored 101 league goals - the second most of anyone in the entire league - and conceded 27 - the fewest of anyone in Division One or the Premier Division - for an amazing +74 goal difference.

Common have completed a league double over 11 clubs so far, but the one team in the division they’ve not yet beaten this season is third-placed Lingfield, who hammered them 6-0 in November’s reverse fixture.

“Saturday’s game is going to be a tough game,” continued Eldridge. “They’ve got some good players and they’re in good form as well.

“But we’re in great form and I wouldn’t say we owe them one because that’s not the way I look at it, but they’ve inflicted the heaviest defeat on us this season.

“We probably didn’t show them the real Little Common that day and we certainly want to be doing that on Saturday.”

Common will be without both full-backs who played against Langney - Ryan Paul starts a two-game suspension and Lewis Parsons is away.

Eldridge, meanwhile, praised an ‘excellent performance’ from his team as Common eased past Langney 4-0 with two goals apiece from Wes Tate and the in-form Jamie Crone.

He said: “It was a really satisfying win tonight to get us into the final. First half we were excellent, I thought we controlled the game really well. We passed the ball well, but also were a bit direct in terms of getting our goals. The build-up play for the second goal was excellent.

“At 3-0 at half time it was about managing the game in the second half. We probably would’ve liked to have more of the ball in the second half and when we did we probably could’ve done a little bit better.

“To keep a clean sheet again was excellent and to score the four goals was fantastic. I’m really, really chuffed and made up for the boys.”

Common have conceded just two goals in their last nine matches against Division One opposition and scored 26.

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